Sometimes the way a person grows up is so upsetting, once they have success, they prefer to forget the experience. Others, however, grow up humble and when they achieve some success, they look back to that time when they were growing up to find the underpinnings of what made them so successful. There are lessons learned from growing up in a less-than-ideal situation and Vinod Gupta, one of India’s famed self-made millionaires, looks back on his upbringing with pride. He regards the period as having made him what he is today.
Educated at India Institutes of Technology, he went on to get a Master’s degree in agricultural engineering in the United States at the University of Nebraska. He worked for a mobile home manufacturer post-graduation, and although he did very well, what he found was that the marketing essentials for that industry were just not there. There were no lists of manufacturers upon which he could call for sourcing materials. He made one from phone books and that marked the start of his first solo venture. With a $100 loan from a local bank, he started a marketing company.
Saying he made a huge success of that business is a sizeable understatement. He sold the company in 2010 for $680 million. Armed with lots of dollars from that sale, he started a single-office venture capital firm. He now helps others get a start. Even more important than that, he valued his own educational experience so much, he built schools in outlying areas in India where the residents might not otherwise have an opportunity to be educated. He went on to donate $1 million toward the development of Ram Rati Gupta Polytechnic. This was built in his hometown of Rampur Manhiharan and this school is for women only.
Vinod Gupta never forgot his experience in Nebraska either. He set up a generous scholarship fund to help minority students. In addition, he suffered a huge loss when his son passed away and in response to that tragic loss, he set up scholarship funds to commemorate his memory. Vinod Gupta believes in karma and realizes that he was given lots of opportunities, so he tries to do all he can to give back.
About Vinod Gupta: phy.princeton.edu/people/vinod-gupta